Astros Select Aiken with First Pick in MLB Draft

A San Diego 17-year-old just became a millionaire. 

The Houston Astros selected lefty Brady Aiken with the first pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. In doing so, the Astros became the first team in Major League Baseball history to make the first selection three years in a row. The club picked Mark Appel in 2013 and infielder Carlos Correa in 2012. Aiken stands to make about $8 million if he agrees to sign with Houston.

“Aiken, 17, posted a 7-0 record and a 1.06 ERA in 11 starts in his senior season at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego,” the American League West team noted on its website. “He was a 2014 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American and an All Region 1st Teamer in California. Aiken, who is two months shy of his 18th birthday, led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan last September by winning both of his starts, including a championship-game performance against Japan in which he struck out 10 and allowed one run in 7.0 innings.”

Miami drafter Tyler Kolek, who reaches 100 mph on the radar gun, with the second pick, the White Sox selected southpaw pitcher Carlos Rodon next, and the Cubs took catcher Kyle Schwarber, the first position player drafted, with the fourth selection. Pitchers made up 21 of the first round’s 34 selections.

“We’ve been following Brady Aiken for a while now and we feel that he is a young, dynamic, high-upside, left-handed pitcher,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow gushed in an official statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for the Houston Astros and their future by adding this player to what already is a very strong system.”




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Seattle Mayor Politicizes Seattle Pacific University Shooting: ‘Epidemic of Gun Violence’

Just hours after an unidentifed male with a shotgun entered Otto Walker Hall at Seattle Pacific University, killing one and wounding three, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray stepped up to an open microphone and politicized the heinous crime.

Murray said:

Today should have been a day of celebration at the end of the school year here at Seattle Pacific University; instead it’s a day of tragedy and of loss. Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle – the epidemic of gun violence that is haunting this nation.

He then thanked first responders and continued:

We have been here before: Cafe Racer, the shootings on Capitol Hill, the shootings at the Jewish Federation; this is a tragic moment for Seattle and a tragic moment for America once again.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.




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One Shot Dead at Seattle Pacific University: Security Guards Not Allowed to Carry Guns

On June 5 one person was shot dead at Seattle Pacific University, a school where security guards are not allowed to carry guns.

According to USA Today, a man holding either “a rifle or a shotgun… walked into Otto Walker Hall and opened fire.” One person was killed. Three others were wounded. 

According to the Seattle Pacific University Office of Security and Public Safety, security guards patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but “do not have deputized or state-commissioned police authority and carry no guns.” They can make “citizen’s arrests when appropriate.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins  Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.




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America Remains Exceptional Because of Reagan’s ‘Informed’ Patriots

Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War without firing a shot. He willed himself to victory over the Republican establishment during an era when Rockefeller Republicans had more firewalls, and brought America out of Jimmy Carter’s malaise. RFK loyalists from 1968 proudly became Reagan Democrats as national Democrats started to morph into a hybrid of “limousine liberals” and multiculturalists who always blamed America first. 

Events in Eastern Europe today, America’s sluggish economy, and a Republican Party that has trouble connecting with American workers of all backgrounds cast an even brighter glow on Reagan’s legacy.

Yet with all that Reagan accomplished, he said in his Farewell Address that “one of the things I’m proudest of in the past eight years” was “the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism.”

Reagan knew that though “this national feeling is good,” it would not “count for much” or “last unless it’s grounded in thoughtful and knowledge” that he called an “informed patriotism.”

“I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit,” he said. “Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.”

Though Reagan’s memory would fade with the onset of Alzheimer’s, he would never lose his sense of what made American exceptional. That’s in the soul. 

Delivering his homily at Reagan’s funeral in California 10 years ago, Sen. John Danforth read from the Gospel of Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.”

“It was his favorite theme, from his first inaugural address to his final address from the Oval Office,” Danforth said. “For him, America was the shining city on a hill.”

Reagan knew that for America to always be the world’s North Star, its citizens had to be informed about what made the country and its common culture so exceptional and indispensable. And he was fierce in fighting to preserve a nation that the Founders could still recognize. 

Yet 10 years after his passing, establishment Republicans who never liked Reagan or understood why the unwashed did are trying to whitewash history, claiming Reagan would have trouble winning over a conservative movement that is fighting for the same ideals in a different–and more digital era–where Twitter has replaced newspapers and the news cycle has become a constant, ceaseless, and unrelenting news stream.

Craig Shirley, one of the most esteemed Ronald Reagan biographers, recently wrote that those who falsely assert that Reagan would find not fit in today’s conservative movement “confuse tactics with principles.”

“They charge that it is forgotten that Reagan compromised; but in fact, conservatives celebrate him for compromising on tactics, but never on goals or principles,” Shirley wrote. “Changing tactics can be smart politics. Changing principles is not.” 

Shirley, as Mark Levin has so often mentioned, observed that “the very forces of the establishment Republicans who made war against Reagan before he was REAGAN are at it again, saying the Gipper could not have survived in the modern Republican party or would have been rejected by the tea party or could not have been elected today.”

Jeb Bush has said Reagan would be too liberal for the modern GOP. Jon Huntsman has made the same claim. As scions of wealthy, establishment families, their observations need to be taken with a little more than a grain of salt. Actually, the fight inside the GOP today, pitting the insider elites against the outsider reformers, is very much like the fight in which Reagan found himself in the mid-1970s. Reagan, the intellectual populist, was a tea-party leader long before there was a tea-party movement–but there was a conservative movement, and he was very much the leader of that vibrant political force.

“Actually, the Constitution would forbid him from completing a third term, and we all know in what reverence he held that sacred document,” Shirley wrote. “Those same forces who thought men like Bill and Jim Buckley were unsophisticated and out of touch are now making war against the intellectual conservative forces of the tea party. It’s as if an Iron Curtain has fallen across the GOP, with the statists on one side and the forces for individuality on the other.”

Reagan’s critics within the Republican Party and those who actively wrote missives opposing him from the other side in the 1970s and 1980s continue to prove how ignorant they are of Reagan’s appeal by mocking limited-government and working-class conservatives who seek to fundamentally restore America’s greatness. But even his harshest critics, some of whom have even become Republicans, pay homage to Reagan’s prescience and all of his accomplishments. How could they not? 

By the time of the Goldwater speech, he was already a champion of the individual over the state, the essence of American conservatism. In his adult life, he never awakened in the morning saying to himself, “Government is popular now, so I will switch my principles and embrace big government.” In fact, his mature American conservatism, including the opposition to centralized authority, came at a time when the American people still generally believed in government. His embrace of the pro-life cause came at a time when the science wasn’t what it is today and the pro-abortion position was the more popular position for politicians, including within the GOP. Indeed, it was allies of Reagan’s who added the pro-life plank to the GOP platform in 1976, where it remains to this day.

His rejection of containment and détente and advocacy of actually winning the Cold War shocked the establishment, but by the end of the 1980 campaign, the American people had come to share his viewpoint and in point of fact supported nuclear superiority over the Russians.

But as Shirley noted, Reagan did not need titles, accomplishments, or praise to be complete as a man. He knew what was important and focused on America’s long-term health. He asked Americans, “Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?”

“Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions,” he reminisced in his Farewell Address. “If you didn’t get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school.”

And if all else failed back then, Reagan said that Americans could still “get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.”

Reagan lamented that as the country was about to enter the nineties things were changing. He observed that “younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children” and “well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style” for those who create popular culture. 

“Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection].” he said, echoing his previous words about how freedom is only one generation away from extinction. 

Reagan feared a dangerous future in which reparations and balkanization would further disunite America, as the late historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. often noted.

The Gipper told children to call their parents out if they were not being taught to be informed patriots. And were he alive today, he would relish the many opportunities he would have to use new media to remind Americans about its common culture.

Reagan mastered radio, “talking pictures,” commercial television, and the news cycle dominated by the big-three networks. And, as Shirley delightfully mentions, he would “probably be using Facebook and Twitter (perfect for his quips!) and all the other new forms of communication to advance his ideas” because “technology always fascinated him as a method of spreading ideas.” No doubt, Reagan would have made Americans more informed patriots 140 characters at a time or with YouTube videos that would have effortlessly cut through today’s fragmented media landscape.

Shirley concludes that “to say Reagan would not fit in today’s GOP or modern politics is to underestimate him once again” and is a flat-out “indolent argument.” 

“Some have suggested that Reagan could not survive in today’s GOP because he was ‘a man of his times,'” Shirely writes. “In fact, given his principles, his vision, and his moral convictions, Reagan was a man for all times, for all seasons.”

The day there is no place for Ronald Reagan in the conservative movement will be when America is no longer exceptional, all cultures are viewed equally, and the United States is considered just one of many countries on a map. The world will have lost its “last, best hope.” Worst of all, it will also probably be a day when there are two pastel globalist political parties that represent two sides of the same coin without a vibrant grassroots, non-elite movement to fight for an America that represents that shining city on a hill that Reagan personified.

Do those who seek to vindictively and pettily distort Reagan’s legacy want to live in such a world? 




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Obama Administration Gives Iran Six-Month Free Pass on Sanctions

The Obama administration is of the opinion that now is the time to reward Iran for supposedly “cooperating” with the international community. In doing so, the White House announced Wednesday that the U.S. would suspend enforcement of Iran oil sanctions for six months.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said:

While market conditions suggest that there is sufficient supply to permit additional reductions in purchases of Iranian oil, the United States has committed to suspend Iran oil sanctions for six months and pause efforts to further reduce Iran’s crude oil sales for a six-month period under the Joint Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran. In return for this and other limited relief measures, Iran has committed to take steps that halt, and in key respects roll back, progress on its nuclear program.

Carney claimed that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “has verified that Iran is complying with these new commitments.” He continued, “Global oil supply disruptions in recent months increased, compared with earlier this year, but the resulting supply was offset by increased petroleum production, particularly in the United States.” Carney said that because there is a sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil in world markets, the Obama administration felt it necessary to lift the sanctions entirely.

The sanctions relief comes on the heels of Iran’s Ayatollah openly stating that he did not believe the U.S. would ever consider a military strike to thwart Tehran’s nuclear capabilities. The Ayatollah stood on a podium surrounded by banners that read, “America cannot do a damn thing.”

Recently, the Ayatollah, Iran’s chief decision maker and ultimate authority, stressed that Iran would defeat “evil” America through endless “battle and jihad.”

After Khamenei announced for the world to hear that he intends to defeat America, while at West Point, President Obama spoke of the Iranian nuclear program. He stated, “Now we have an opportunity to resolve our differences peacefully.”




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